Wreckfest Review

Wreckfest Trailer Drive Hard. Die Last.

Wreckfest is a racing game developed by Bugbear Entertainment and published by THQ Nordic. Wreckfest was released on console in 2019 and is available to play on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles. The game is currently available to download via the Xbox Game Pass and for PlayStation owners, Wreckfest is currently included in May’s PlayStation Plus games.

Visually, Wreckfest isn’t the beautiful racing game, even when playing on the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, particularly when compared to other racers such as Forza or Gran Turismo. The graphics aren’t bad, but in all honesty, the way Wreckfest looks really isn’t the reason you should play Wreckfest! Instead of stunning visuals and high-octane races, Wreckfest focuses on vehicular destruction and boy does it do it well!

Wreckfest’s tagline is “Drive Hard. Die Last.”, which is a perfect snapshot of the game in just four words. Wreckfest utilises soft-body damage modelling, meaning location-based damage is enabled on vehicles that affects their driving dynamics in a realistic fashion. This mechanic of location-based damaged makes races so much more fun! Do too much damage to one of your wheels and the tyre can fly off, or take a jump too hard and you can damage your suspension. The games focus on physics and vehicular damage strikes a good balance of fast, reckless driving combined with a strategic approach to races.

I’m a bit of a dirty driver in racing games and I can often be seen smashing into opponents to try and get that extra edge. In some racing games, you are punished for impeding your opponents, but Wreckfest’s encouragement in smashing your way to the finish line is what makes this game so unique. There is nothing more satisfying than T-Boning an opponent on a bend and taking the lead in the race, all whilst earning experience points for your trouble.

As well as classic races, Wreckfest’s other exciting game modes comprise of demolition derbies and ‘banger races’. One of my favourite event types is the aptly named ‘Last man standing’, where players are pitted against each other with the aim of being the sole survivor of the respective derby. Things can get hectic, particularly when you have 24 cars all driving head on towards each other in the opening seconds of the derby, but wrecking opponents’ vehicles is where Wreckfest is at its best.

There’s a good range of tracks in Wreckfest, with each track varying in its ground surface, either being gravel, tarmac, dirt or mud based (or a combination of the four). Some of my favourite tracks are the quirkier tracks and demolition arenas, including the simple yet chaotic figure of 8 race track. Whilst a simple figure of 8 track may sound a little tame, it doesn’t take long for these races to turn into complete anarchy! You could be out in the lead of the race but with the crossover in the centre of track, you can never be too cautious of opposing players inadvertently smashing into the side of you.

There are none of the big car manufacturers to be found in Wreckfest, instead players can a drive a whole host of wonderful and wacky vehicles including ride on lawn mowers, combine harvesters and even a sofa car, complete with huge twin exhausts! There are standard ‘banger’ cars in the game too, but some of the best races and demolition derbies come when driving some of the more unique vehicles. 

With the ability to create custom events in the game and access to a host of wacky vehicles, you can devise some insane custom races. One of my favourite challenges to do in the game is a simple figure of 8 circuit where you drive a ride on lawn mower and your 23 opponents try to take you out whilst driving huge school buses! The endless creativity and mayhem of Wreckfest means its gameplay very rarely becomes tiresome.

The Verdict

Wreckfest puts the fun back into racing with its exhilarating focus on vehicular destruction.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

8/10

Wreckfest is available on Xbox, PlayStation and Windows and is available to download for Xbox Game Pass subscribers or PlayStation Plus Members. Alternatively, you can purchase Wreckfest on Amazon here (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).

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